Advertisement

THE NATION

Sewage Sludge Dioxins Safe, EPA Contends

October 18, 2003|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency said Friday that it will not regulate dioxins in sewage sludge applied as fertilizer to U.S. crops because the use of the sludge does not significantly harm humans or the environment.

Dioxins, suspected of causing cancer, are a group of highly toxic compounds such as PCBs left over from combustion and manufacturing practices. Sewage sludge is the byproduct of treatment processes that purify wastewater before it is released into local waterways.

After studying the issue for five years, the EPA said in a statement that it determined "that dioxins from this source do not pose a significant risk to human health or the environment."

Green groups and consumer organizations have fought against allowing treated sewage to be used as fertilizer.

The EPA said the people who would theoretically be at the most risk were the farm families who apply sewage sludge as a fertilizer to their crops and animal feed and then consume their own crops and meat products over their entire lifetimes.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|